Gary Sanchez has done nothing but hit since joining the Yankees this summer, providing a nice payoff for all of the patience it took for him to finally arrive in New York. It certainly seems as though the Yankees have found their catcher of the future in Sanchez. His powerful swing and strong arm make him a fantastic young player to build off of as the team transitions from the old era to the new.
According to Jon Heyman at FanRag Sports, the Chicago White Sox expressed interest in Sanchez when discussing a potential Chris Sale deal with the Yankees. There were rumors leading up to the trade deadline, especially after Sale’s destruction of throwback uniforms, that the White Sox may be willing to part with their ace. The asking price was always going to be high, and the Yankees were right to be interested with their obvious need of pitching help.
Heyman doesn’t say what else the White Sox asked for, as Sanchez alone wouldn’t have been enough at that time. He also doesn’t mention which side ultimately tabled the talks. Maybe the White Sox didn’t feel as though the Yankees had enough supplemental pieces to offer in addition to Sanchez, or perhaps the Yankees felt their best course of action was to keep Sanchez and continue their youth movement within.
If the latter was in fact the case, it looks like a pretty smart decision as of right now. Sanchez is currently tied with Didi Gregorius for the team lead in fWAR with 2.3 despite having only played 30 games. That’s 100 fewer than Gregorius. Sanchez’s 11 home runs and sparkling defense have also been huge boosts for the team as they continue to hang around in the Wild Card race.
Sale is extremely talented and would obviously help a team with so many questions within the rotation, but Sanchez playing every day is very valuable as well. Fans have a tendency to value their own prospects over all else, but Sanchez has definitely been worth that extra admiration to this point.
How different would the Yankees’ chances for the Wild Card look if they had sent Sanchez and others to Chicago at the trade deadline? It’s impossible to know. Maybe Sanchez’s great run has helped to fuel the Yankees’ continued contention for a postseason spot instead of being eliminated from contention like we thought they might be when the team decided to sell back at the end of July.
Would you have been happy with the Yankees trading Sanchez to Chicago for Sale? Is Sanchez’s strong August the only reason this seems like it might have been a good deal for the Yankees to turn down?